Ministry of Justice

B.C.'s Prosecution Service

The Vision - Courageous, Fair and Efficient – a Prosecution Service that has the confidence of the public

As an integral part of the Ministry of Justice, the Criminal Justice Branch will deliver on its core responsibilities in a manner that safeguards prosecutorial independence, and supports an effective justice system through communication, collaborative effort and innovation. The Branch’s core responsibilities include: (1) approving and conducting criminal and regulatory prosecutions; (2) initiating and responding to appeals; (3) providing criminal law advice to government; (4) developing policies and procedures on the administration of criminal justice; (5) liaising with the media and the public on prosecution matters; and (6) any other function or responsibility assigned to the Branch by the Attorney General.

Prosecution files are managed as one part of the overall criminal justice system:

Diagram of the criminal justice process

Independence of Crown Counsel

As mandated under the Crown Counsel Act, Crown counsel make their prosecutorial decisions independent of any outside influence.

Media Statements

July 14, 2015

Stay of Proceedings Directed in Prosecution of Delta Police Officer
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that a stay of proceedings has been entered on a charge of Second Degree Murder previously approved against Cst. Jordan MacWilliams of the Delta Police Department. The charge related to an on duty incident on November 8, 2012, in which Mehrdad Bayrami was shot and killed during an armed standoff with police.

June 26, 2015

Crown Files Appeal in Supreme Court of Canada
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice (the "Branch"), announced that it has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada, asking that the Court overturn the majority decision of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia in R. v. Newman, 2015 BCCA 237, and restore a conviction for first degree murder.

June 25, 2015

Crown Files Appeal from Constitutional Decision
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice (the "Branch"), announced that it has filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, asking that the Court set aside a constitutional decision in R. v. Boutilier, 2015 BCSC 901. The appeal has been filed under Court of Appeal number CA42891 (Vancouver).

June 18, 2015

Appointment of Special Prosecutor in Abbotsford Prosecutions
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice ("CJB") announced today that a Special Prosecutor appointed pursuant to s.7 of the Crown Counsel Act has approved charges against Ryan Plecas and Cody Green in connection with an incident that occurred in Abbotsford on December 21, 2014.

June 15, 2015

No Charges Approved in IIO Investigation of Arrest near Chilliwack
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice (CJB) announced that no charges have been approved against two police officers in relation to their use of force in arresting a suspect on February 16, 2014 near Chilliwack.